“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4-5
I drove up the last stretch of the winding road to the cabin. The last few months, filled with unwanted surprises and worries, had worn me down. I needed a getaway to regain my balance. But the change in scenery did not help as much as I expected, and the stress and frustrations returned. Despite knowing God is ultimately in charge and that he knows what is best for us, we still find ourselves frustrated and disappointed when our well-intended plans do not go our way. Are we willing to forego our plans for his, remaining open and trusting in the Lord’s ways to fulfill our hopes and dreams? In Philippians, the apostle Paul speaks of rejoicing in the Lord always. He does not suggest we delight in the tragic events in our lives. Instead, we are called to rejoice in Jesus, who reigns over all the earth, who accompanies us in life’s joys, successes, challenges, and disappointments.
Times of struggle are the times to exercise our faith. God recognizes we may not always understand the reason for the painful circumstances in our lives. But we do know God never promised us an easy life in this fallen world. He promised us a good life in his Son, Jesus Christ, from whom our joy arises. Jesus died for us and rose on the third day. In light of this truth of Christ, who is himself the “resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), let us rejoice through faith, thanking and praising him for his gift of salvation — and his loving and caring presence in our lives.
Lord, thank you for your friendship and the gift of salvation through your death and resurrection. Jesus, help me to rest and rejoice in you always, especially during times of disappointment and hardship. Amen.
Ask the Holy Spirit to assure you of his presence with you in your difficulties. As you face challenges, ask the Lord to be your joy and peace.
By Doug Lim
Used by Permission
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